Penticton has two new unique, authentic pizza places

2 new pizza joints, 1 week

Chelsea Powrie

Pizza lovers in the South Okanagan, rejoice. 

Two new pizzerias focused on authentic Italian offerings are opening this week in Penticton, each with their own personal flair and an aim to enrich the local food scene. 

On Westminster Avenue at Winnipeg Street, Tratto Pizzeria has been renovating and planning for months. 

Co-owner and operator Christopher Royal has a vision of an affordable hotspot showcasing the local flavours and ingredients that make the Okanagan Valley special.

"Our menu will be affordable, and it will be for everyone ... we want people to come out and not spend a wagonload, and have a nice time and come out twice," Royal said. 

The heart of Tratto's open, high-ceilinged dining room is a large gas-fed Naples-style pizza oven which will burn at 800 degrees during service, cooking a pizza in about 90 seconds. 

"It will be Neapolitan through and through," Royal said.

"The crust is quite thin, about the thickness of a credit card, until you get to the edge and then ... the crust is quite light and airy with a little bit of a crunch and a nice chew."

As many ingredients as possible come from the Okanagan, everything from cheeses to vegetables. Pizzas and other menu items can be paired with a variety of hand-picked Okanagan and Italian wines, as well as local brewery and distillery offerings. 

A few blocks away in the 600 block of Main Street, another pizzeria is also opening. 

Corleone's Pizzeria takes after its mobster-movie namesake, aiming to make you a pizza you can't refuse.

The Godfather-themed joint is aimed at the takeout crowd, without compromising quality of ingredients, flavour or Italian authenticity. 

"We do things a little bit different here. I have imported products, imported flour, tomatoes, olive oil I used in my doughs, my recipes," said owner Don Gigliotti. 

He took over the old Murray's Pizza location, and spent the time and money fully refurbishing the place to make it his own. 

"We believe we have something different, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it," Gigliotti said. "Some people buy a business and they don't have the passion for the business. Mine is the other way around."

His pizzas are cooked one at a time in his ovens, given special attention and not cooked in a pan. The pies have themed names like "The Sonnny" and "The Don Vito," playing along with The Godfather theme. 

"The pizzas all have characters from The Godfather, and if you've watched The Godfather, you'll know why they are named certain things," he said. 

Corleone's had its official opening Tuesday night, and Tratto Pizzeria officially opens Friday. 

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